Back on the winning road
By Malcolm Stokoe
Gutsy performance away from home.
It's quite a while since the Phoenix had a win on the road (Chris Daley's first since joining in January!). Today was the day in a friendly over the water at Gateshead with a closely fought victory by 27-24. There was a bit of a difference between the two sides with our younger, more inexperienced lads being pitted against a more bulky, older and more experienced home team. The first half was dominated by Gos, with the ball being transferred quickly along the line for James Weaver
and will ginns
to cross wide-out for two early unconverted tries. Despite some more pressure by the visitors, the hosts were to come back into the game with a couple of unconverted tries of their own through the forwards and some missed tackles to leave the half-time score equal at 10-10.
Gateshead were now given a lift by these late scores and continued to press in the second-half to score two more tries by the posts. Each was converted to leave Gos 10-24 down. The undoubted spirit in the Phoenix side began to show through, however, and a fine break from halfway by Joe Morris saw him finish off with a try in the right-hand corner, which was unconverted to leave the score at 15-24. It wasn't long before our newly qualified Kiwi, Devon Gurr, cut his way through to score halfway out for Ross Martinscroft
to convert and narrow the gap to 22-24 with ten minutes to go. After several unsuccessful thrusts at the Gateshead line and the clock ticking towards the final whistle, replacement Dan Tucker
stretched a long arm over the line to score what turned out to be the winning try, leaving the final result at 27-24.
Next Saturday sees the 2's away again at Whitley Bay Rockcliff in the NRU Cup. Hopefully this win will encourage the lads to get another win!!